Government of Western Australia Department of Health Nursing and Midwifery Office. Pathways. Delivering a Healthy WA

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1 Government of Western Australia Department of Health Nursing and Midwifery Office Pathways Delivering a Healthy WA

2 Contents Introduction 3 Benefits 4 Enrolled nursing, registered nursing and midwifery 8 What s the difference? 8 Entry paths to nursing and midwifery 11 What Year 12 subjects should I consider to qualify for nursing or midwifery? 11 What if I don t meet the necessary Year 12 requirements? 12 Assistant in Nursing 12 Enrolled nurse to registered nurse conversion courses 14 I already have a tertiary qualification in another field, how do I become a registered nurse? 14 Studying midwifery 17 Postgraduate midwifery 17 Course providers 19 Enrolled nursing course providers 19 Registered nursing course providers 24 Midwifery course providers 27 Pathways to a nursing or midwifery career in Western Australia 22 Support for Aboriginal students 29 Mature age entry 33 WA Health scholarships 34 Studying to become a nurse or midwife 34 Postgraduate studies 35 Specialising 37 nurse practitioner 38 Mental health nursing 41 Working conditions 42 Hours 42 Salary 43 Leave allowances 43 Work while you study 43 Graduate programs 44 Other useful information 45 Now friends shift. my with finished coffee just ve for I off am I what a beautiful day it couldn have been much better. t Hayley, Midwife

3 Introduction Are you looking for a job where you can work with people and make a real difference? Have you thought about nursing or midwifery? Most nurses and midwives choose to work in a hospital delivering direct patient care, but did you know that nurses and midwives also have the ability to work in many different areas? Some of these include occupational health and safety, policy development, education and training, as well as management, leadership, primary health and research. The numerous pathways available lead to a wide variety of settings in which to work. This booklet provides information on the nursing and midwifery professions what it s like to be a nurse or midwife, the different specialties and the educational pathways to get you there. Information about scholarships and who to contact for further details are also provided. There is also information on the benefits of being a nurse or midwife, including: the opportunities to travel and work in regional Australia, interstate or overseas; flexible hours to suit your lifestyle; and the ability to change your work scene by choosing to specialise or trying a different practice setting. So if you are trying to decide what the next step in your life will be, consider midwifery or nursing. It can take you anywhere. If after reading this booklet you would like to discuss nursing or midwifery further, please don t hesitate to contact us: Nursing and Midwifery Office Department of Health, Western Australia Free call: (free in WA from land line only) Phone: (08)

4 Benefits You can go places The world will always need nurses. You can work in the metropolitan area or in one of our country health services. WA nurses and midwives are also highly regarded nationally and internationally. This means you can work almost anywhere in the world and continue to expand your career. Travel as much or as little as you want. Work in a challenging environment A typical nurse or midwife is up and about, caring for patients, consulting with colleagues or supporting patient s visitors. You also get to do a lot of problem solving and thinking on your feet. Something different happens every day. Choose your hours Nurses and midwives work throughout the day and night, so you can choose shifts that work around your lifestyle sport, shopping, kids, and so on. A variety of shifts are available, including weekday, weekend, morning, afternoon and night shift. Work is offered on a full-time, part-time or casual basis. Change your work scene Nurses and midwives can apply for positions within a hospital, or change to a non-hospital setting such as a school, commercial airline, cruise ship, child health centre, university, community health centre, aged care facility, mine site and many more. Generous allowances Most full-time nurses and midwives who do shift work have nine weeks paid leave per year. They also get extra pay for working afternoon, night, or weekend shifts. Choose your adrenalin level It s up to you. Opt for the adrenalin of emergency, intensive care or labour ward, or choose to work in a general or specialised setting. If you re after something different you can work in a community health centre, school, university, government department or in areas such as education, research or policy development. 4 5

5 Change your specialty Change it up a bit you can move from specialty to specialty whenever you feel like a new challenge or become a specialist in one area. There are so many options - see page 37. Make a difference There s no doubt about it, nursing and midwifery are careers with heart. These professions are a meaningful way to contribute to society. You re there to help people get better. Your patients and their families will trust you and look to you for reassurance. Look after your community Many nurses and midwives will tell you how much their skills and knowledge are valued by their friends and family. What better way is there to ensure that your loved ones, your neighbours and your community are provided with the best health care possible? Be in demand There are many great nursing and midwifery jobs across Australia and overseas. WA Health is building several brand new hospitals meaning nurses and midwives will continue to be highly sought in the coming years. As a nurse or midwife, you will always be in demand. Unlike many other jobs, nursing and midwifery can provide you with job security as the work is not generally affected by economic problems. Being able to help people with mental illness while having the opportunity to work in my chosen field is a plus for me. Angelo, Clinical Nurse Specialist 6 7

6 Enrolled nursing, registered nursing and midwifery What s the difference? Enrolled nurse To become an enrolled nurse (EN) you ll study for months full-time through a state or private training provider for a Diploma of Enrolled Nursing. On completion of the course, enrolled nurses can practice across a range of clinical settings. Enrolled nurses work under the supervision of a registered nurse to provide care to patients from all kinds of backgrounds and age groups. The opportunity for promotional positions is a little more limited for enrolled nurses than for registered nurses. Enrolled nurses can progress to become an Advanced Skill Enrolled Nurse, or decide to pursue further studies such as an Advanced Diploma. Enrolled nurses can go on to university to become a registered nurse or midwife. They are usually given recognition of prior learning and have the length of their course reduced. Registered nurse To become a registered nurse (RN) you ll study at university to obtain a Bachelor of Science (Nursing) or Bachelor of Nursing. The course takes three to three and a half years if studying full-time. The responsibilities of a registered nurse range from providing direct patient care to coordinating care delivery, promoting better health, managing staff, undertaking research or providing education. Registered nurses have the most opportunities for employment in a huge variety of settings. There are many career advancement options, the capacity to specialise (see page 37), as well as scope to work in advanced practice roles. Midwife To become a midwife you ll study at university to obtain a Bachelor of Midwifery, known in health as a direct entry student (three year full-time degree), or by becoming a registered nurse first, and then undertaking a postgraduate degree in midwifery (18 months full-time). The responsibilities of a midwife generally involve direct clinical care, but like registered nurses, there are a number of other employment opportunities including work in research, management, education and policy development. Midwives work in a variety of settings such as clinics, hospitals, birthing centres and in women s homes. The role of the midwife may also involve other aspects of women s health, including sexual or reproductive health, lactation (breastfeeding) consultancy and educating parents how to care for their child. Midwifery is not just a profession for women, men make great midwives too. 8 9

7 Entry paths to nursing and midwifery What Year 12 subjects should I consider to qualify for nursing or midwifery? You will need to pass Year 12 English and Maths if you wish to study an enrolled nursing course. It is recommended that you contact enrolled nursing course providers for further information about the prerequisites. Alternative pathways are also available to gain entry. For entry into registered nursing and midwifery courses, the most appropriate subjects to study in Year 12 are Human Biology or any other science subject, plus Maths and English. These subjects will provide a sound knowledge base for undertaking nursing and midwifery studies, however, this can vary between universities so it is always advisable to research each university s current prerequisites and requirements. The Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) to enter a registered nursing or midwifery course varies from university-to-university and year-to-year. It is recommended that you contact each university to find out the cut-off score for each of their courses (a cut-off score is the minimum score needed to enter the particular university). Traditionally nursing and midwifery cut-off scores usually range between 55 to

8 What if I don t meet the necessary Year 12 requirements? If you have not satisfied the necessary secondary education requirements, you may be eligible to undertake a Certificate III in Health Service Assistance and use this as a pathway into nursing or midwifery - see Assistant in Nursing section below. There are also other bridging programs offered by the various education providers that will prepare you for entry to the course you want, so make contact with them to find out more. A Certificate IV in Preparation for Entry into Enrolled Nursing will prepare you for entry to a Diploma of Enrolled Nursing course. A Certificate IV in Health Science Foundations will prepare you for entry into a Bachelor of Science (Nursing or Midwifery) at university or a Diploma of Enrolled Nursing. Some private training providers also provide courses to obtain a Diploma of Science (Health Studies) or Diploma of Health Science. Once completed, some universities may grant enrolment into the second year of a Bachelor of Science (Nursing). Assistant in Nursing As an Assistant in Nursing (AIN) you work as a member of the nursing team, assisting nurses to give general patient care. You will support patients with tasks like helping them with their hygiene, their meals and assisting them to move into and out of bed, and to mobilise around the ward. You will assist nurses to monitor a patient s condition by measuring blood pressure, temperature and respiration rates. To work as an AIN in a hospital you need to complete a Certificate III in Health Service Assistance (Acute Care) which is offered through the state training providers and several private organisations. Working as an AIN can be a rewarding career in itself, but it is worth noting that the AIN qualification can be used as a pathway into a career in nursing or midwifery, plus this qualification will allow you to continue to work as an AIN while you study to become a nurse or midwife. Assistant in Nursing (Acute Care) Traineeship WA Health is also working with Central Institute of Technology to offer traineeships to become an Assistant in Nursing and to work in an acute hospital environment. The course combines classroom work and on-the-job training. A 12 month employment contract is offered to successful applicants in one of our public hospitals, during which time you will undertake the six-month, full-time training program to receive a Certificate III in Health Service Assistance (Acute Care). Trainees are paid a wage and enjoy all the benefits of learning in a progressive and friendly environment. Every day is entirely different and there is so much variety that I never get bored o r d r e a d coming to w o r k. Daniel, Clinical Nurse 12 13

9 Enrolled nurse to registered nurse conversion courses Once you have completed an enrolled nursing course, you might later decide to progress your career into registered nursing. Some people choose enrolled nursing as an alternative pathway to university if they were unable to gain direct entry, or, so that they can work and gain further experience before and while they study to become a registered nurse or midwife. Generally the conversion program equates to two years full-time study but may vary. It is recommended that you contact the universities directly for information about their entry requirements. I already have a tertiary qualification in another field, how do I become a registered nurse? If you want to study registered nursing and have already completed another tertiary qualification, you may be eligible to complete a Graduate Pathway or Entry-to-Practice course. On completion of either the Curtin University Master of Science (Nursing) Graduate Pathway or the University of Western Australia Master of Nursing Science (Entry-to-Practice) courses, graduates are able to register with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia as a registered nurse. Both courses are two years in duration when undertaken full-time. For further information contact: Curtin University Phone: (08) University of Western Australia Phone: (08) /master-nursing-science 14 15

10 Studying midwifery Direct entry midwifery Curtin University offers a three-year full-time Bachelor of Science (Midwifery). This course does not have the prerequisite of a nursing qualification. Graduates of this course are eligible for registration as a midwife and will allow you to work as a midwife only. Edith Cowan University offers a four-year full-time dual degree. This qualification will make you eligible for registration as a registered nurse and as a registered midwife allowing you the flexibility to work in both professions. Both programs are highly competitive. Please contact the university directly for further information. Postgraduate midwifery Postgraduate midwifery students are registered nurses, who already have a Bachelor of Science (Nursing) qualification or equivalent. The length of the course varies depending on the mode of study, but the most common arrangements for postgraduate degrees in midwifery are 18 months full-time. Further information about course lengths can be obtained from the universities. Postgraduate midwifery students are employed in a maternity setting during their clinical experience. There are many metropolitan and country hospitals in WA where midwifery students can work to gain the required amount of clinical experience to achieve competency and fulfill course requirements

11 Course providers Enrolled nursing course providers Metropolitan Central Institute of Technology, Mt Lawley Web: Phone: Challenger Institute of Technology, Murdoch Web: Phone: (08) Institute of Health and Nursing Web: Phone: Marr Mooditj Aboriginal Training Inc Web: Phone: (08) Silver Chain Web: Phone: (08) West Coast Institute of Training, Joondalup Web: Phone: Note: You should contact the individual provider to find out if they offer part-time courses and to find out if you are eligible for any credits towards course entrance based on previous qualifications you have 18 obtained or partially completed, or any work experience you have. 19

12 Enrolled nursing course providers Regional C Y O Connor Institute, Narrogin Web: Phone: (08) C Y O Connor Institute, Northam Web: Phone: (08) Durack Institute of Technology, Geraldton Web: Phone: (08) Great Southern Institute of Technology, Albany Web: Phone: (08) Goldfields Institute of Technology Web: Phone: (08) Pilbara Institute, South Hedland Web:www.pilbaratafe.wa.edu.au Phone: (08) South West Institute of Technology, Bunbury Web: Phone: (08) University of Notre Dame, Broome Web: Phone: (08)

13 Pathways to a nursing or midwifery career in Western Australia Entry Options Year 10 Certificate II Other RPL Qualification Certificate III - Assistant in Nursing Employment opportunities Assistant in Nursing Acronyms RPL = Recognition of Prior Learning STAT = Special Tertiary Admission Test Year 11 Certificate III STAT Other RPL Certificate IV - Aboriginal Health Worker, Health Science Foundations Aboriginal Health Worker WACE = Western Australian Certificate of Education Further education opportunities Year 12 pass English and Maths Certificate IV Enrolled Nurse - Diploma of Enrolled Nursing Enrolled Nurse Advanced Diploma in Nursing STAT Other RPL Year 12 (WACE) Registered Midwife - Bachelor of Midwifery (ATAR 65-85) Registered Midwife Postgraduate Certificate Graduate Diploma Masters Degree Doctoral Degree Enrolled Nurse qualification STAT Dual Degree available (ATAR 65-85) Grad Diploma or Masters of Midwifery Other RPL Registered Nurse - Bachelor of Nursing ATAR (55-75) Registered Nurse Postgraduate Certificate Graduate Diploma Masters Degree Doctoral Degree Other degree Graduate Entry Masters in Nursing Nurse Practitioner 22 23

14 Registered nursing course providers Metropolitan Curtin University, Bentley Web: Phone: (08) Edith Cowan University, Joondalup Web: Phone: 134 ECU ( ) Murdoch University, Mandurah Web: Phone: (08) University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Web: Phone: (08) or University of Western Australia (Pre requisite: degree) Web: Phone: (08) Regional Curtin University, Albany Web: Phone: (08) Edith Cowan University, Bunbury Web: Phone: 134 ECU ( ) Geraldton Universities Centre Web: Phone: (08) Note: You should contact the individual provider to find out if they offer part-time courses and to find out if you are eligible for any credits towards course entrance based on previous qualifications you have obtained or partially completed, or any work experience you have. I wanted to care for people and I love that part of nursing. Now I love being able to lead and care for the teams of nurses and midwives who care for others. 24 Catherine, Chief Nurse and Midwifery Officer 25

15 Midwifery course providers Undergraduate (direct-entry) Curtin University, Bentley Web: Phone: (08) Edith Cowan University, Joondalup Web: Phone: 134 ECU ( ) Postgraduate Curtin University, Bentley Web: Phone: (08) Edith Cowan University, Joondalup Web: Phone: 134 ECU ( ) Murdoch University, Mandurah Web: Phone: (08) University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Web: Phone: (08) or Note: You should contact the individual provider to find out if they offer part-time courses and to find out if you are eligible for any credits towards course entrance based on previous qualifications you have obtained or partially completed, or any work experience you have

16 Support for Aboriginal students Aboriginal student services are available at most universities and other education facilities. They offer a range of services to encourage the participation of Aboriginal students. You ll find staff welcoming, supportive and friendly. They will offer advice on how to join a course and how to stay on track. Some of the information and services offered include: Mentoring assistance and cultural support Financial support through scholarships Abstudy information Tutoring assistance and access to learning resources and study aids Information on bridging programs and ways to qualify or enable entry into courses General student advice, connection and engagement with other Aboriginal students Distance learning information Accommodation and childcare information and assistance. We encourage you to become familiar with these free and confidential services and find out how they can assist you on your learning journey

17 Aboriginal student services Metropolitan Central Institute of Technology Koolark Centre for Aboriginal Students Web: Phone: (08) Challenger Institute of Technology Kadadjiny Mia Centre for Aboriginal Learning Web: Phone: (08) (Rockingham) or (08) (Fremantle) Curtin University Centre for Aboriginal Studies Web: Phone: (08) Edith Cowan University Indigenous Student Support Officer Web: Phone: Marr Mooditj Aboriginal Training Inc General Administration Web: Phone: (08) Murdoch University Kulbardi Aboriginal Centre Web: kulbardi.murdoch.edu.au Phone: (08) University of Notre Dame, Fremantle General Administration Web: Phone: (08) West Coast Institute of Technology Aboriginal Support Officer Web: Phone: (08) Regional C Y O Connor, Narrogin Aboriginal Development Officer Web: Phone: (08) C Y O Connor, Northam Aboriginal Development Officers and Program Assistants Web: Phone: (08) Durack Institute of Technology, Geraldton Indigenous Service Officers Web: Phone: (08) Great Southern Institute of Technology, Albany Aboriginal Student Support Officer Web: Phone: (08) or

18 Aboriginal student services Regional cont... Goldfields Institute of Technology The Place of Aboriginal Learning and Excellence Web: Phone: (08) Pilbara Institute, South Hedland Indigenous Education Support Officer Web: Phone: (08) South West Institute of Technology, Bunbury Ngala Maya Centre Web: Phone: (08) University of Notre Dame, Broome The Admission s Officer Web: Phone: (08) Mature age entry There are several ways for mature age students to enter nursing and midwifery. Entry into nursing and midwifery courses varies depending upon your work experience and education. You should contact the individual education providers to find out if you are eligible for any credits towards course entrance based on previous qualifications you have obtained or partially completed, or any work experience you have. This is what is sometimes called recognition of prior learning or RPL. You may need to complete a University and State Training Providers Preparation Course; a bridging course through one of the education providers, or a Special Tertiary Admissions Test (STAT) before applying for entry into any nursing or midwifery course within Western Australia. For further information contact the individual education providers, or: University and State Training Providers Preparation Tertiary Institutions Service Centre STAT I can go anywhere in my career. I have a job that I am passionate about. Improving Aboriginal health in my region is my goal. Rodney, Enrolled Nurse and Regional Aboriginal Health Coordinator 32 33

19 WA Health scholarships The Nursing and Midwifery Office provides a range of scholarships and fellowships totaling around $2 million each year. We offer financial assistance to people who are: studying to become a nurse or midwife nurses and midwives studying a postgraduate qualification former nurses and midwives wanting to return to the workforce after a prolonged break. Studying to become a nurse or midwife Studying to become a nurse or midwife will lead to an exciting profession full of diverse experiences and opportunities. A scholarship can help you discover your career in nursing or midwifery and cover some of the study costs. Examples of courses we fund are: Studying to be an enrolled nurse, such as a Diploma of Enrolled Nursing. Studying to become a registered nurse and/or midwife, such as a Bachelor of Nursing, Bachelor of Midwifery, or Bachelor of Nursing/Midwifery. Conversion degrees, such as enrolled nurses bridging to a registered nurse qualification; converting a diploma to a degree; or undertaking honours or a graduate entry masters program in nursing. Applications are accepted prior to the completion of study provided the first semester (or part-time equivalent) is completed when the scholarship is granted. Postgraduate studies Postgraduate scholarships are available to nurses and midwives looking to broaden their expertise through education. Examples of courses we fund are: Postgraduate specialisation scholarships to assist enrolled nurses, registered nurses and midwives to complete specialisation to advance their knowledge and skills in their clinical or non-clinical field. Midwifery scholarships to assist registered nurses to become midwives through study of a postgraduate diploma or masters in midwifery. Midwives completing a Master of Midwifery can also apply. Nurse Practitioner scholarships to assist registered nurses to study a Master of Nursing (Nurse Practitioner). Returning to nursing and midwifery Scholarships are offered to enrolled nurses, registered nurses and midwives to study to re-gain their registration with the Nursing and Midwifery Board of Australia. Scholarships are paid on successful course completion. How to apply Applications are open from early November to March each year. To apply online, or for full details about application dates and eligibility, visit: Universities and other professional organisations also offer scholarships. Visit the Nursing and Midwifery Office website for further information:

20 Specialising As a nurse you can specialise in one or several areas during your career. To specialise, you will need to undertake postgraduate education and/or gain extensive nursing experience on the job. There are some specialties where only registered nurses are employed and may not be available to enrolled nurses. A number of specialty areas are listed below. Aboriginal health burns cardiology (heart) clinical nursing community coronary care diabetes education dialysis domiciliary nursing (nursing care in the home) education (hospital or university based) emergency family health gerontology/aged care infection control intensive care management medical nursing mental health neonatal intensive care (newborn babies) nurse practitioner occupational health oncology (relating to cancer) paediatric (children) peri-operative (operating theatres) plastic surgery policy/project management rehabilitation remote area nursing research rural nursing surgical nursing wound management

21 Nurse practitioner A nurse practitioner is an experienced and knowledgeable registered nurse who has completed a relevant masters degree. To work as a nurse practitioner you need to complete the masters degree, apply to be endorsed to function independently and collaboratively in an advanced and extended clinical role, and practice in a Designated Nurse Practitioner Area as described in the WA Poisons Act (2)(e) and WA Poisons Regulations A. The nurse practitioner role includes assessment and management of clients using nursing knowledge and skills and may include, but is not limited to, the direct referral of patients to other health care professionals, prescribing medications and ordering diagnostic investigations. I love that every day I get to contribute to the lives of others - supporting and encouraging them through challenges. I can t imagine a more fulfilling job!. Brooke, Midwife 38 39

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